The Scene of the Crime

and let's unveil your greatest alibi
as I watch you return to the scene of the crime
let's ask all your witnesses that will swear
that you were somewhere else that night
and I will stay awake and mine eyes won't rest,
I'll seek out the clues, may my efforts be blessed
I'll follow the trails till I find all the proof that I need
to relieve this ache from my chest

{ Cincinnati Rail Tie }

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as long as actually explaining and indexing poetry and songs is something i seem to be doing these days:
  • i organise songs i write mostly by theme. this has resulted in having a rough idea of three things that will be albums as soon as i finish writing them.

  • since i am me, they are all of course being written simultaneously (by "written simultaneously" we may mean "being left for dead for ten months out of the year or more, but together!")

  • this actually started as a way to tell apart songs i was writing for the rock opera the short and graceless life of miranda clay from songs i wasn't
so now we have:
  1. The Short and Graceless Life of Miranda Clay, a rock opera about a legally blind girl who dies in a car crash and her kind of terrible friends and acquaintances and hallucinating bereaved girlfriend and how they get themselves killed or ruined or out of the whole mess

  2. Simon Says, an album in practice about reference jokes (it is where things like "i wrote an overqualified + a series of unfortunate events crossover as an allegory for the stages of mitosis" and "MOOOOM DOC SCRATCH WON'T GET OUT OF MY NARRATION MOM MAKE HIM STOOOP" go, and yes, i am not making either of these up, these are both legit songs i have written and am more or less pleased with, help) and in theory about the end of the world (hay simon haaaaaaaay) whether apocalyptic-scale or personal (or my favourite, both!)

  3. [citation needed], an album about... things that aren't simon says, the way ss was about things that weren't TSGLMC. tentative theme is "optimistic futures, also religion", which is a bad approximation of an impression you can kind of only get in my head by flinging the people's key at automatic over and over again.
so because i've never done so before, i went through two years' worth of month-by-month writing folders and pulled up everything that looked songish. APPROXIMATE TRACKLISTS AHOY.

this is going to be long.

The Short and Graceless Life of Miranda Clay

"blergh rock operas are hard."
"yes, that is why normal people don't write them"

note: TSGLMC has an outline, so i can actually count songs i haven't written yet because i was too lazy and there was a plot and i can't leitmotifs because i am hilariously ignorant! hooray.

heir of note: as a rock opera, TSGLMC requires multiple vocalists, which has handily given me terms like "use cassandra's vocalist" and "use miranda's vocalist" when i mean "someone between a lady contralto and a dude baritone works because that is the range i compose around" and "i sure need sopranos in my life don't i". ideally, to have the right amount of people playing the right amount of characters, there'd be one voice for miranda clay, one for suzanne kety and the narrator (i think? the narrator is a weird case and who sings it depends mostly on who 1. feels like it 2. isn't miranda), one for ... whatshisface... jeff rosenhan, and one person (me) playing the parts i wrote for myself (hello), ash rosenhan and cassandra millon. that's... four vocalists? four vocalists. one soprano, one me, one dude (jeff has to be lower-pitched than ash because reasons), and suzanne's part is pretty flexible. okay!


1. The Introduction of Miranda Clay (some draft work done)
and they said she'd be a scientist
they said she'd be an astronaut
they told her she must change the world
ignored the fact that she could not

her hands were not to heal them
and her voice was not to serenade
her eyes they could not see them
this wasn't why the girl was made

miranda clay

2. 15 Seconds (Choir for the Dead) (lol iunno no work yet. this is the one where miranda dies, posthumous characters hooray!)

3. Armageddon I (Worlds Are Ended Every Day) (some draft work done, this follows a tune we already know; it should be fun, honestly, as an exercise in how awful a guide to the world you get if you ask a sheltered teenage girl)
the bombs fell in places that i couldn't spell
so i didn't care that much at all
i heard some of the soldiers we sent over there
got themselves killed by being too tall

they couldn't seek cover as well as the rest
'cause their helmets and elbows showed up
and this made me feel pretty damn vindicated
with my four-foot-eleven-inch self

4. Lovers' Song (Cassandra Millon Hears Dead People) (finished!)
Cassandra:
I said, my love, I said, my love
I’d do anything for you, love
I miss you so, I only want you back
Just say, my love, just say, my love
And tell me what to do, my love
I’ll be your arms, your eyes, your ears, your hands

“Miranda”:
oh love you know I always trust you, even when I am afraid, too
but darling are you sure you understand?
dear one, the price is steep, the paths go deep, and lately life is all too cheap
but girl, at least I will guide your hand

“Miranda”: you understand?
Cassandra: I understand

5. Apocalypse I (Long-Distance Serenade) (finished!, and previously known as "the dead girlfriend song"; i get nervous about singing it because someone told me it was a piano man ripoff once when i was slightly off-tune so i've been wanting to rewrite it for the two years since)
we’re lucky, all things considered
no one cared quite enough to do bombs
after the first month, anyway
and none of them came down on us

we’re lucky, all things considered
there’s not much that will eat you ‘round here
sure, the sky’s yellow-green and there’s demonic ducks
but that sort of thing happens anywhere

6. Lovers' Song (Dead People Hear Cassandra Millon) (not yet written, uses the same tune as the other Lovers' Song, i told you leitmotifs were a problem)

7. Attn., Mirrormen (not yet written, i need to pin down what jeff's problem is first since this is his intro screw it, last night i wrote a song and the filename is "here is a song about delusions", that's serendipity if i've ever seen it and there's a hotel called serendipity and i've seen it)
i said i've got the world's best breath control
i can drown on land i can drown myself on land
i can drown myself here fifteen miles inland
i need a hand i need a hand give me your hand

here is the truth and here are the lies
here is the truth, and here are the lies.

i am so good at beginning things
if i could fill in the shaky lines i'd do your portrait
it would be the best you'd ever ever ever seen
and you would love it you would really really love it

so, blue is the truth and red is a lie
red is for truth and blue is for lies

8. The Dancing Song (some tentative lyrics somewhere, a tune exists i guess? it's a long-lost mp3 or something somewhere whatever for our purposes i know the plot and some of the tune but not the words the end)

9. Runaway (got nothin' except a terrible title hey-oh)

10. On Romeo and Juliet (??? this should be one of the only songs that would work well standalone, future self, heads-up)

11. Walkabout (Everyone Leaves) (ugh more plot nope no idea how this works either)

12. (Do You Know) She Wants Revenge? (finished! actually pretty decent! was my flagship "and THIS is the kind of song i write" song until SSE? or so, that's a reign of like a year and a half, damn)
i’ve been trying to avoid cities but there’s people everywhere
i wish i could not breathe, i think the words are in the air
instead of smog, like it used to be; i can feel them in my head
oh i don’t know who she is but how i know she wants revenge

paper, salt, chamomile and ink
i remember people saying “the end is nearer than you think”
tamarind, steel, graphite and aloe
they say the world has gone on but it ended long ago

13. Coda: All My Friends Are Dead (there's tentative lyrics somewhere and an mp3...? okay, found it. needs work, uses the same tune as the introduction but should be played and sung in a far more muted fashion.)
and jeffrey's sister
they say she died yesterday
threw herself off a building
that as she fell they heard her say

mister, catch me if you can

as she went down and down and down
it must have been a decent fall
if she could get it out
before she hit the ground.

so that's:
4/13 with "some draft work done"
4/13 finished
1/13 where the tune is a previous one but i haven't any words yet
4/13 where idk how to competence.

Simon Says

"it's also errors in communication, misinformation (propaganda?), vagueness, but that's a necessary framing device to the fact that i'm the one who made it about reference jokes and mondegreens so."

seer of note: i have no goddamn clue what order the songs on simon says will eventually be in so the numbers here are purely for my own amusement. however, if they spill over and it turns into an album + an EP it would be simon says + do it to julia, obviously. i just decided that now.
knight of note: also, there are some storylines. so i will mark storylines, i guess...? god i don't know i should stop procrastinating by writing notes and do this thing yes


The Ones That Are About More Or Less The Same Apocalypse

1. Having Lost All Thought Of Rain (We Cannot Be Saved) !finished
title = "losing all thought of spring" (patrick wolf) + something del wrote. concerns the human side of an apocalypse hooray
Your skin is a whisper, your voice is a map
Are words back to front or front and then back?
I look at stained glass and I contemplate fame
But it’s really passé to lead your own parade

The horsemen on horses will ride seven laps
The window will cave with what seems like a tap
With the sun blotted out these lights will all fade
I’ll walk out of the door as it’s starting to rain

The water will fall as a cheap absolution
Grace for we monsters, a stop-gap solution
But I think I know more or less what will prove true
And God and I know it will rain upon you

So what if the world fell in ash and confusion?
Just follow the steps and get your revolution
A blue moon will rise despite all you might do
Hedge your bets and pray if you can find whom to

2. Long Live No King !finished
title = meant to be something clever involving long live the king. this album's called simon says, of course it hates everything monarchy. concerns the cause of the above apocalypse's not-boyfriend, i mean what. or: why you should possibly not fall in love with an avenging lightbringer if you have no spine ahem
Of a game that leaves you broken, bleeding
Everyone in tears and screaming;
Though appearances need keeping
In the end there’s no denying
The truth is there, it isn’t hiding
Everybody knows that we’ll be fine.
The kings are all dead, but we’re alive.
Oh, the kings are all dead but we’re alive.

And some days it is an achievement
If by sunset you’re still breathing
Some people are quick to leave and
Others stay around, ah-ah!
And don’t you think that I don’t hear the
Call; I do know the appeal
But if the world’s a spinning wheel
I’d speak with you a while, oh-oh!

3. Is The King Dead Yet? !unfinished, but it's great, we've got stuff /mr. kite voice i actually like how it was going and there's a bridge hello bridge
title = meant to be something clever involving "the king is dead" and accidentally due to italic tag smear turning the title into "the king is dead yet" but it kind of got out of hand. concerning... dead king, but i'm word of godding that it's in the same universe, dammit, same mourners
everyone's wearing black, but dear, you're dressed in red
has no one told you yet that the king is dead?
they've been speaking of it down the wells and through the sky of town
has no one told you yet he's gone and left his crown?

they say that someone dressed in red stole through the gates at dawn
and left him choking, raving mad, and shortly to be gone
my love, forgive me this betrayal, but first I thought of you
and then I knew it couldn’t be; he was your father, too

The Ones Where Kay Mclellan Should Not Be Allowed To Anything

4. The Stupid Lord's Prayer !unfinished, has a plot...?
title = do you remember when i had to learn the lord's prayer in latin? Y E P . summarised for marika as "we have the girl in question, who is far, far behind the times, just coming to our senses and having overlooked the fact that she can't actually sway him, eventually trying to send a message [...] she is wrong on all counts. literally all of them. girl's not that bright.
But that is neither here nor there,
Much like the boy I've missed
Should he pass by please give him a message
Hark and remember this

That if you see him, say I said
I know who you are, I know what you did
An' if you see him, say I said
I know who you are, I know what you did

5. The Jack of Faces (Man In A Grey Hat) !finished
title = i don't even know, i was not planning this (this was before i got a black hat). what can i say, i'd just read last hearing and i was eating pizza and this... song... happened...
call the fall winds home
and follow them down
hide your body safe
deep below the ground
if you hold your breath
you will still be found
lock yourself in tight
and don’t look around;

there’s nothing left, now

I’ll pick you up
take you far away
I will hold you close
to be sure you stay
and I’ll whisper soft
as you shake and sway
hey, baby girl!
maybe love will save the day

The Ones That Are, Literally, Simon And/Or Julia's Fault
6. Citrus !finished
title = and i quote my midnight email-to-self on october 11th 2011, "this is partly because of lime tree, which always feels from the title like it should have a much different feeling as a song than it does (i don't know, tree reads as a certain kind of song to me); and partly because of under the spreading chestnut tree / i sold you and you sold me of 1984. in fact, the 1984fic may be structured around this song because dork, and this song may be structured around the 'fic. because dork." for once i was actually right; wrote it for real in chem class the next day without my notes and was patronised by people who didn't believe i'd actually written a song and were "dance, monkey, dance!" kind of dicks about it. on the bright side, it really is the backbone of and a plotpoint in of the dead and those just waiting.
and somewhere there’s a grapefruit tree:
i sold my love, my love sold me
and somewhere there’s a grapefruit tree;
we knew this would occur

and somewhere there’s a grapefruit tree
i sold my love, my love sold me
and somewhere there’s a grapefruit tree
but my love offered first
citrus is special because there's another third or so of it that would be a secret or a b-side or something, and which is meant to be sung with no backup (unlike citrus, which is all echoes) and to hand-claps:
i dreamed i saw a chestnut tree
i thought that you had died for me
in dreams i saw a chestnut tree
and you weren't far away

i dreamed i saw a sycamore tree
they told me you had died for me
in dreams i saw a sycamore tree
i met you yesterday

i dreamed i saw a citron tree
i thought you'd never lie to me
i dreamed i saw a citron tree
and in the ground i lay

my love, don't you remember me?
o why have you forsaken me?
my love, won't you remember me
when in the ground i lay?

7. The Queen is From !unfinished, has a general framework (i did a chart!) but because of different parts symbolising the churches and stuff is only like 2/7ths finished ermahged
title = someone interrupting me before i finished a sentence: "the queen is from--" "her name is from?" because when you have asthma (one of the diagnostic criteria is, literally, having to take multiple breaths to finish your sentences, BAM) people do that. this is a song about the woman of the apocalypse from the point of view of the great red dragon, except it's meta-about simon and julia as david koresh and lois roden and shut up i'm in a relationship with this ship we are it's complicated on facebook.
Stern daughter of the voice of God
You know I never mean to do you harm
Lady of the wind and sea
I wish and beg that you will follow me

So I’ll stay here in the outer darkness
And let you crowd around your sun-bright saviour
An outcast, alone and artless
A shadow in the stories of your days of yore

And you can be there with the best of them
Left alone and for the first time happy
Weave your words and count your dances
And tell all that ask you never knew me

The Ones That Are Blatantly Fanfiction

8. Sprechen Sie Englisch? !finished, may or may not be being edited
title = "do you speak english?" in german, because it was that or french and i like german. yes, this is the handmaid character study that was written entirely for the lines "my lord is in the lapses / but god is in the details" [in case you need a hint, god also has a broom...] L thought was about the holocaust. i think that is winning? i'm really not sure.
“She cares not what’s just,” they sing,
“She doesn't want your life (I have no choice)
She serves the end of everything
The grey saint of the knife”

My lord is in the broken things
My lord's in entropy (come, worlds' end)
And I his herald-girl who sings
The future like a sea (but they fear me)

And you're anointed by the ashes
And you're blessed by the details
Unforgiven all your lapses
You ask, can we make a deal?
(dig two graves, just in case)

9. 1025 (love will tear us apart) !finished
title = i only know love will tear us apart from the evelyn evelyn cover and it felt right, oh guess why 1025 just guess. also, someday i will post the words colour-coded so you can understand exactly how blatant of fanfiction this is, yes.
keep the setting sun in your mind (anyway)
and i will guide you
keep the crumbling moon at your right
and i will find you

oh my dear, this is not the two-bit
miracle you have wished for
there is an index for a reason
you just opened the wrong door

those that claim to love you
we know they won't understand
the choice is yours, i just advise
(hurry up and take my hand)

10. IPMAT !finished
title = i keep telling you, i really did just write this song for a biology test. here's the relevant overqualified. in my head this has piano.
hand over the plans, the keys
i’ll run the show now, if you please
don’t object and i’ll spare your life
pay out in sure, pure certainty

yeah!

hey there revolution
i’d offer a drink but as they say
you deal in obscurity
and molotov is all the rage now

i’m afraid i’ll leave you to
whatever it is you can find
my purpose hasn’t been achieved and
you’re above the bottom line

The Ones That Are None Of The Above

11. The Aftermath !finished, needs some editing
title = is obvious. i'm never sure if this is worth keeping or not...? the tune is awkward. it's the only song i've ever written with the word "fuck" in? someday i will sit down and there will be a reckoning an edit.
and the time starts to pass and the paradigm shifts
pile up ‘till the point where they’re meaningless gifts
like your father would foist off on an estranged son

and the aftermath’s just the same as the middle
they’re the same as each other and as the beginning
if you try to find the way to delineate before
draw a line, score a mark, write a date
no one will end up caring and while no one listens
every breath, every step, every heartbeat proves you wrong

and did the kerosene i cradled make a difference?
was splashing careless lines particularly brave?
it was impermanent as fuck, what i need’s a metal web
welded tight, no joint, nor lock or key—
but oh, yes, at the time, the smoke was wonderful to see

12. Being An Unauthorised Account of the Musings of a Youngest Son !finished
title = i needed something to call this other than "the new song of florida" because then i wrote another song? it's fanfiction but it's not totes blatant, although i'm surprised no one's caught it for who it is about, so i am not sure where it goes.
Dear my unimaginative bright reflection
Your justice is easy to side-
Step with just a few tears and a careful admission
That I at some point have seen light

As

If you thought
Just twice
You’d get my gist
I am not you
Know what
You’ve missed

It’s you who doesn’t know from tain
What’s got you stumbling ‘round to reins
Old debts, old bets, old sunless days
Look at this damn fine mess we’ve made

13. When Your Loved Ones Flinch At The Name Of God !finished
title = because "your mom flinches at the name of god" is crass. the Villanelle I Can Sing.
bow out and let the dead dance tango in their tombs:
no cause would deserve a sacrifice of you.
but tell the figure in the mist the end is coming soon

and we'll arrive too late to ever get in tune.
turns out the only truth applicable is what i knew:
nothing's going to come to light beneath a hazy moon;
but tell the figure in the mist the end is coming soon!

[ citation needed ]

"look at the dark ages to humanity as vehicle of light progression of matter and lore; they are the footprint here, the blueprint, the model to cast about with inexact instruments, tempered with some glowsticks and the tone of streamline."

witch of note: i think [citation needed] is going to have some personal things, too. but it's not like there's much progress ye...t...? numbering is again for my own convenience. only one of these is finished whoop

1. Matter and Lore pt. 1 (Analogue Rhea)
and i quote my own notes, "Pt. 1 has scabby dark overlays like the end and general instrumental sections of Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out), the kind that sound like the overlays on old, nitrate films. I believe this is called... bass guitar."

2. Matter and Lore pt. 2 (Digital Zeus)
this in-progress song is liza's fault. the filename for the whole series is "some songs that are liza's fault", actually, but it's the only one with words yet.
Sophia: I think I’d like to know
What turns the world ‘round and why
Kit: whose footsteps I hear now
Whose count it is that makes time
Sophia: I look out to the unknown
Kit: A speck in a dead, blind myth’s eye
Both: Sometimes I feel so small
But I’ll take whatever I find

3. Matter and Lore pt. 3 (Quantum Athena)
"pt. 3 is... something... they aren’t. Yeah!!!!!!!! The epic-but-triumphant tone you get with, I don’t know, it bears an odd dawn-after-mourning cast"

4. False Positives
this song could also be known as "the one that sounds like a gaslight anthem song". it might be the shortest song i've ever written; here it is in its entirety.
and don't sing me those sad songs
you'd write for a jewish boy from minnesota
i will fall for you no more
they've been on the radio before

and i'd swear that i loved you
in the manner of a poem
but we both know that's not true
so you might as well go home

and i've no interest in assuaging
your petty burnt-out pride
my hands are full up with my own
from eyeballs down to i

and we'll have nuclear fallout
if that is what you like
take your songs and take my soul
and take the car and drive

take the car, take my heart
do what you have got to do
take my breath, take my soul
take the laces of my shoes

take whatever you might like,
i'll still be better off than you


THE END, SO FAR.


the fun thing with ss and [cn] is that i can more or less track who i wanted to be when i grew up through them. there's things that are transparently "*_* DKS *_*", there's things that sufjan stevens or john darnielle or brian fallon apparently walked into and this is inopportune get out get out get out, etc. it's not like i know if i have a poetic style of my own other than "irritating", so it's not a big deal, but it's... interesting. most of TSGLMC was written when my poetry was still mostly influenced by neil gaiman, by contrast.
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